Summary:The Solars journey to the site of the Second Herald battle, to see what can be done to repair the damage left behind.

XP:C1, I1, L1, S1, V1, Z1


< A Flower Opens | Sol Invictus Logs | All That Matters Is What You Do >

zahara` pilots the smallish airship over a scrubby forest, having been mostly quiet til this point, watching the landscape speeding beneath them. "Did you bring the trumpet?"

Varanim grunts in agreement, having been silent in her own contemplation. "Just to check, our plan here is to fix the hole, not to make it bigger to find out if something interesting happens?"

zahara` "I admit that does sound enticing, but I really don't have the tools to disintegrate Creation. I could probably learn some from Rio though."

Cerin "Please don't destroy Creation, love," Cerin murmurs. "It would make beach vacations problematic for a start..."

zahara` sighs overdramatically. "Yes, yes, no destroying Creation. Geez."

Cerin kisses Zahara.

Varanim hums a little to herself as she watches the landscape go by, trying out a few possible trumpet fanfares.

Imrama relaxes in a hammock on deck, enjoying the novelty of being a passenger aboard someone else's ship.

zahara` takes a hand off the controls to squeeze Cerin's hand as she kisses him back. "We're almost there." She slows the ship down as the telltale signs of the tear in Creation show on the horizon. "Brace yourself, it gets a little bumpy here, but I have a good landing spot not far from it."

Spring ::Are we there yet?::

zahara` ::I just said we were!::

Spring ::Please excuse me. Out of politeness, I make an effort not to listen excessively well when we are aboard an airship. After...last time.::

Imrama ::Long-Awaited Spring! You have, in two sentences, broken two of the nine Cardinal Rules of Airship Etiquette. I am...impressed.:: Imrama's mental voice does not actually sound impressed.

zahara` smirks

Spring, if we are there, shall we begin?::

zahara` ::Sure,:: she replies drily. ::Jump on out.::

Spring, if we are there, why do you not LAND THE SHIP?::

zahara` ::HOLE IN CREATION okay? I'm trying to be careful.::

zahara` ::Imrama would you mind giving the lesson on airship etiquette again? We seem to need it.::

Imrama ::Rule #1: There can only be one captain at a time...::

The landscape beneath is still much as it was left when the Solars fought their pitched battle here: shattered and broken, the laws of physics seemingly nonfunctional as tiny fragments of earth float through the air and hailstorms fall sideways across regions filled with blistering-hot sunbaked rocks and frozen icesheets alike.

zahara` tips the nose of the ship down, turbulence in the air(?) causing the ride to become significantly less smooth. O captain! She does not head directly for the rift, but rather for a more stable section a bit to the east of it, that she had used in the past.

Imrama sits up in his hammock to take in the view, throwing a smile to Zahara as she makes a particularly deft maneuver. "Quite a striking sight. Cerin, do you think you could paint it, to make a record for posterity?"

Cerin "I had considered doing so, yes."

Spring emerges onto the deck, looking down with some fascination.

Varanim scowls down at the crazed land thoughtfully, then drips blood in her left eye to look across the Shroud, taking time which wasn't available previously to see how the rupture in Creation connects to Netheos.

Imrama "I have been thinking that we might make an effort to stir up greater interest in the Sol Invictus chronicles by selecting particularly dynamic images from our escapades and turning them into colossal murals to display on the sides of buildings and the like."

zahara` is concentrating rather fiercely on her landing, not having the thorough training of Imrama, but unwilling to admit that the deft maneuver he'd been impressed by was half-luck. She bites a corner of her lip. "Do it quick, Love, if you're going to."

Cerin "Oh, this sight will remain with me for some time."

zahara` nods, and skims the ship along the ground for several yards as she slows, then sets it down more or less gently.

Imrama As the ship sets down, Imrama rises from his recline and walks over to Varanim. "I saw that there was some tension between Lucent and yourself during our meeting with the First's Circle. Is everything alright?"

Varanim "Hm? Yes, if only briefly," she answers distractedly, peering at the landscape.

Oddly for a catastrophe like this, the Netheos side of things appears to have been affected almost in kind with Creation -- the same sorts of disruptions, the same fundamentally misshapen Essence and inaccurate physical laws...

Imrama smiles and raises an eyebrow at Varanim. "Alright. Well, if you ever want to talk about it, I'm here." Imrama touches Varanim gently on the shoulder, and then makes to exit the ship with the rest of the group.

Varanim "Huh, same picture on the other side, that's interesting." She frowns and then refocuses on Imrama, her frown deepening as she watches him walk away. Shrugging it off, she follows the others.

zahara` combs a few stray hairs back from her face with her fingers, and follows the others out of the ship. "Is that unusual?"

Varanim "Taking a dump on the floor in Creation usually takes a while to start stinking in Netheos. It looks like the Herald jammed them both up at once, though." Looking slightly more interested, she extracts the trumpet from her bag to twirl absently in one hand.

zahara` "Hmm. So the damage isn't limited to Meru."

Varanim "Not even a little bit. Where do you want to start?"

zahara` bites her lip again. "The damage is least severe over here, so that's a good place to start fixing it." she points. "If anyone wants to get a really good look at what it's done to the fabric of Creation, over there is a good place to look." She gestures to one of the most bizarre looking areas, some small distance away.

Spring walks over there...carefully.

Imrama strides off of the deck, through the air and out into the horizontal hail. It sizzles, hot on his stalwart skin. "So here is where I fell. I must say, as captivating as the scenery is, I do not much like being here."

Cerin examines the essence flows with studious interest.

Varanim "Huh," she says, thinking as she walks. "The Shroud isn't torn, but there's still near-perfect symmetry in the damage. I'd really like to know how..." she trails off, looking at the horn in her hand with a sudden speculative gleam in her eye.

Varanim "Imrama, hold this." She hands him the trumpet abruptly.

Spring glances back at Varanim for a second, but then turns back to examine the destruction when she hands off the instrument.

Imrama takes the horn, and regards it and the rest of the landscape as he takes the Measure of the Wind.

Cerin directs a certain amount of attention to Imrama as he is handed the trumpet.

zahara` hums a few bars the little song that had brought her and her friends back together in an earlier foray into the Wyld, then trails off. She scowls and pushes her sight into the realm of Essence, finding the ragged edges and shattered pieces. She weaves them together, binding the wounds with threads of her own Essence, Shaping and solidifying them

Varanim makes a circle with thumb and forefinger of her soulsteel hand, holding it up to her eye and looking at the horn Imrama holds, through it, to the Netheos landscape that rages behind him. Superimposed, she sifts for their essential connection.

The trumpet itself seems oddly, almost aggressively mundane. The landscape around it is odder: its Essence oddly tainted and misbehaving, in a manner much similar to what Imrama had described to him about his own condition during his coma.

Spring carefully observes the work Zahara is doing, the threads of Essence she is weaving and plaiting. Before him, on the shattered ground, he draws the figure of a human in the dirt, and thoughtfully matches each of her maneuvers with a feather-light touch across the sketch's chakras, occasionally doubling speed to attempt a few possible duplications before she moves on.

zahara` With each piece of reality she puts back in its rightful place, she brushes against the sheer power of the Herald's strike against Creation. The sheer scale of the Lacuna's destruction of her world is - well if she were anyone else - awe inspiring. With every piece, she seeks the how behind the unraveling. The direction behind the power and destruction.

The connection Varanim seeks is actually somewhat odd and distant. The trumpet really does seem to be entirely mundane, but it served as... a focus, perhaps, for the destruction that occurred here.

Both pieces connect back to the figure of the Second Herald -- utterly alien and unbound by the laws of the universe himself, the horn seems to have been his connection to this world's fixed nature -- the route by which his strange and destructive magic might flow out of him and infect the world beyond.

Varanim "Huh. Next time, we should break the horn first. He needed a focus."

Spring "Hm."

Spring "A powerfully concise analyis. I commend you."

Varanim looks over at Spring speculatively. "Is the plan just to wait for the third one to show up?"

Spring "Hm."

Spring "As yet we have no way to track and intercept them before they arrive in Creation."

Spring "Perhaps we may develop some way of doing so through the Wyld."

Cerin "That would seem to be wise."

Varanim Her thoughtful scowl deepening, Varanim looks over the sweep of chaos, capturing each bit of damage in her memory before Zahara erases it. With the ample evidence of his works left behind, she begins to construct a model of the Second Herald--or if he had no mind, that which sent him.

Varanim gathers up the knowledge of the Herald's mind... a mind put together, piece by piece, by a much greater, much grander intelligence, from pieces cut loose from a hundred sources across a hundred worlds...

She sees its directed focus, its certain and unambiguous purpose: to announce the arrival of its master to the world in which it arrived -- and to begin the preparations that would render that world ready for that arrival.

Cerin watches as Varanim examines the evidence and then he drops down deeper, seeking not what the Herald had left behind, but the central core of his being, stepping briefly into the shoes of that alien being, watching as he rent at the world through his eyes ...

Spring and Zahara sit back at the same moment, Spring dusting his hands and drawing a parchment from his lips to transfer the information from his diagram, now a faded mess from the countless maneuvers performed on it, to a more permanent medium.

zahara` sits back, however, in order to grumble about how long this is going to take, working alone. She surveys the remaining tear with no small irritation.

Cerin's picture of the Herald's arrival grants quite the picture: he sees the odd, twisted vision of the creature, where solid creation seemed ugly before its eyes and the twisted results of its actions seemed fair and beautiful; he catches just a glimpse of the creature's zealotous nature, its complete dedication to the cause set to it by the creature known as Oros;

Spring "Fascinating work, Zahara. I am grateful for the opportunity to observe it."

its certainty in the righteousness of its cause even as those hideous, twisted Solar beings slew it, and it felt its form disintegrating, its heart spilling out....

zahara` "It's... ah.. thank you, Spring. I hope you enjoy observing a lot, because there's miles of this thing left to go."

Spring "Do you require assistance? I can attempt to aid you...if I treat Creation as a living thing, perhaps..." he drops into a brown study for a moment, then emerges, "" I am not sure how effective it will be, though. I have little understanding of the principles of craftsmanship you seem to be applying."

Cerin "... Why must I always do that with the alien beings from beyond the edge of Creation?" Cerin shakes his head. "The inside of his head was not a pretty place."

Cerin glances at Varanim. "Want to compare notes?"

zahara` opens her mouth to snap about how she doesn't need any help and then, seeing his sincere expression, along with the massive amount of disintegration still behind him reconsiders. "It...would be useful, yes. Creation is living in its own way, I suppose but... hmm." She smiles tentatively. "I think I have something that might help."

Varanim frowns at Cerin. "This isn't efficient. But yes. It was put together from pieces of other minds, brought from all over, and it was here to pave the way for the next one."

zahara` rises, and walks over to him, dodging a tree that is falling upwards along the way. She reaches out to him, imbuing a few motes of Essence with the knowledge she has built over a lifetime, and letting them pool in her palm.

Cerin "I'm really not sure who sent it needs efficiency ... the dedication Oros was able to impart in it for it's quest was ... worrisome."

Spring reaches out, and touches the motes, drawing them into his hands. For a moment, the veins in his arms stand out, lines of purest gleaming gold, and then he takes a breath, and they fade. He bows his hand. "Thank you very much, Zahara. I will humbly endeavor to assist you."

zahara` smiles, "Thank you for assisting me. I think.. if you start here, and I start what should theoretically be across from you, we could combine our efforts well. Like with Ssithumi."

Spring "Indeed."

Spring "Let me try something here that might speed up the process slightly."

Varanim shrugs a little at Cerin. "Are many of your big enemies short on dedication?"

Varanim "But I'm curious about who's coming next, that needed the world broken this way to make him comfy."

Spring turns to the devastation with new purpose. He coughs up a staff-sized piece of lignum vitae, dividing it under his fingers using Zahara's knowledge into several small pegs. He painstakingly positions these living rods in various locations, carefully driving them into the still solid earth.

Spring Between them, the dragon-lines, torn asunder by the shattering of the plane, begin to hesitantly reform themselves over the empty space, creating a framework to hold together the pieces of Creation as Zahara places them back into alignment.

Cerin "Oros was the one who drove those we know as the Primordials from their home."

Cerin "Or so they wrote upon the poles of the world."

Varanim nods at what Cerin says, looks calmly thoughtful for a moment, then extracts the flask from her bag to take a shot. She arranges the new evidence in her mind--and then with a mental fist she strikes the pattern, shattering it, casting her mind out along the senseless paths she must sometimes follow when dealing with other entities beyond rational comprehension.

As she works, Zahara sees the challenge at play here. The energies of the Herald seem to draw on some fundamental unreality of existence -- how Creation, at a certain level, is simply an illusory structure built up from the tapestry of the Wyld, and its laws set by its structure rather than any fundamental outside force.

Here, where the Herald acted directly, the effect is magnified tremendously, with basic low-lying Essence channels severed or misdirected, causing the general conditions to deviate wildly from expectations.

Zahara can see, as she looks, how to draw upon the pattern of the nearby, still-whole land to recreate the necessary pathways, using the principle of sympathy to reconstruct the proper landscape and physical laws --

though she can also see that to a degree, the damage here is like a bubble in the wallpaper: she can disperse it out until the effect is largely invisible in any one place, but a certain amount of brokenness will have to be distributed somewhere in Creation's system.

Varanim moves on up back the chain, until she sees, in her mind's eye, the great beast Oros -- and for just a moment, it seems like it'll be too much, before she shuts her mind's eye to block out the excess flood of tainted and grotesque information.

zahara` watches the dragon-lines begin to reform, watching intently how they interact with the shreds of reality, then begins anew, using the new lines to increase the reach of her work. As she does, she ponders the dilemma of where to store the extra wrongness.

Narrowing down, focusing on only the safest pieces, Varanim learns more of the Herald's background: how Oros has crafted beings of the clay many times before, and animated the with the force of the world's broken heart; how he has sent them out into the tapestry to do his will -- and how he seeks to crack the world open like a melon when the last of his Heralds has come.

zahara` ::So, the Raksha have one thing right,:: she notes as she works. ::Reality is merely a construct of Essence, Structure and Belief.::

Spring ::Interesting. And dangerous.::

Varanim leans over to gag for a minute, rubbing her temples, then gives Cerin a thumbs-up. "Neat. Good tip about Oros. Uh."

Cerin "Uh?"

Varanim "Basically, every time things get too whiny where he's from, Oros sends out another of these little dolls. Surprise, the world isn't supposed to live through the arrival of the last one."

zahara` ::But even so... what the Herald has done is not... unmaking in the same sense that the Fae and the Wyld unmake Creation.::

Cerin "That would tend to fit with the readings of the Orrery. After all, he is coming."

Spring "Hopefully we will be ready."

zahara` tries to discern the differences between the Wyld and the rift, studying more intently the way her charms interact with it.

zahara` "Ready or not, he will come."

Varanim walks a little distance further into the wild zone, examining the results of Spring and Zahara's work and deciding she lacks the skill to duplicate it. However... she slashes her palm open, claps her hands together, then kneels to slam them against the ground. The cold wind of Netheos swirls out around her as she begins the spell that creates a temporary Shadowland for stepping across.

Varanim But instead of completing the spell as normal, she continues to pour Essence in, anima flaring to life above her as she holds the crossing open longer, longer... And the rules of Creation, set right, begin to cast echoes across the Shroud, snaring and re-aligning the broken rules of Netheos in a spreading ring outward.

zahara` "Spring, Varanim... I'm going to have to shunt what's left of the broken-ness to a contained area. It is impossible to completely eliminate it, to the best of my knowledge. I think it's best to keep it somewhere we can supervise it, so I'm going to open up a link to our little Shadowland. If you could assist me in directing it through, that'd be lovely."

Spring "Certainly." Spring begins to slowly move some of his pegs.

Varanim "Great," she grunts, sweating from the strain as her Essence reserves begin to run low.

zahara` closes her eyes, reaching out through the interconnectedness of all Creation - false though it is - to her home, centering in specifically on the shadowland that Lucien had created. Though her Essence reserves too, are dwindling, she filters a few motes through until an arcane link is established. "Ok... NOW!"

zahara` Shapes a crystalline containment field of her Will around the stubborn, Creation-side destruction and with a growl of effort, pulls it up from the ground and shunts it along the dragon-line path that Spring has created along the link.

Varanim Quick and coordinated, Varanim reaches out with her soulsteel arm, its muscles writhing like live snakes, and knots the edges of her collapsing zone together with Zahara's work. As one package of devastation vanishes into the link, it tugs its Netheos shadow behind it.

As the exalts' great efforts converge, the landscape around them knits back together, the hail moves towards a more vertical angle, the hot and cold rocks move towards the ambient temperature -- even as the controlled destruction from the Herald's action moves along the ley lines, towards its new holding place.

zahara` sinks to her haunches, hands flat on the ground in front of her as she follows the rift through, not letting go until it is safely in its new residence.

zahara` ::Lucent?:: Zahara's mindvoice is strained, ::Are you still at the Cascade?::

Lucent ::Yes, finishing some plans for the South! And wondering where did everyone vanish to.::

zahara` ::I have a package coming! Make sure it gets safely settled in Lucien's Shadowland, will you?::

Lucent ::Sure thing! Wait, is it going THERE, or do I have to take it there?::

zahara` ::It's on its way, but... I could use a little help getting it the rest of the way. Reach Southwest, it should be fairly obvious in another few seconds...::

Lucent makes his way Southwest, getting there as fast as he can! ::Is Varanim with you, perchance? To deal with Shadowlands...::

zahara` ::Yes.:: She gives the 'package' another shove as she feels Lucent's presence intersect with the link just ahead. ::Be careful with it.::

Lucent reaches there, looking about... ::Waiting...::

And there it comes -- a churning, roiling ball of disruptive, chaotic energy, the landscape seeming to bend and shift around it even as it moves.

Varanim ::Try not to drop it.::

Lucent blinks as it he sees THAT coming to him! ::... just WHAT are you children playing with?!?:: He rises his open palm and his anima flares around him, the Sun of Adamant rising in opposition to the ball of chaotic energy, wrapping it... changing its surface like clockwork to keep it airborne, joining the Coronal about him. ::Hmmm. Now, it is kind of pretty.::

zahara` ::Present from the Lacuna,:: she says, letting go as she feels him take it. She opens her eyes, and blinks at the ground a few times to assure herself that the initial blurriness was from sheer tiredness, and not misfunctioning physics. "Hnnngh. I could really use a drink right now. Got anything, Im?"

Spring "You might do better to ask Varanim."

Lucent strolls towards Lucian's Shadowland, the mini Incarna floating in the coronal poking experimentally at the ball of disruptive chaotic energy. ::Oh... the Lacuna.:: He stops for a moment to gaze at it, before continuing.

Imrama "Not if she wants something that won't make her go blind."

zahara` "At this point, anything'll do."

Varanim sniffs. "His can't be ''that/ good if he's willing to share it."

Imrama , freshly returned from his reflective stroll around the damaged area, reaches into his coat and draws out a bottle of rose-mead. "Care to conjure a few cups, Empress, so that we can toast your work?"

Cerin distributes the cups as Zahara solidifies them from the freshly repaired air of Creation.

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Page last modified on May 06, 2009, at 06:48 PM